What? Again? Not this time around!
This was my reaction when I learned that Erap is seriously considering running for presidency in the 2010 elections. He even has the nerve to refer to the study made by several political experts that he wouldn’t be breaching any constitutional law by running for presidency in the year 2010.
His arguments for him being qualified to run are in fact valid since according to Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III the constitutional provision against reelection of a president applies only to a sitting or incumbent president – and since Erap is neither, then he has all the green signals to run in 2010. After all, he hasn’t finished his last presidency term and he seems to have unfinished plans for the country, right?
Yet this would only materialize if the opposition wouldn’t unite under one candidate. Erap stresses over the fact that the votes of the Filipino people would be divided over the various presidential hopefuls of the opposition. They are no other than Ping Lacson, Manny Villar, Mar Roxas, Loren Legarda, Chiz Escudero and Jejomar Binay. He is worried that the same 2004 scenario, wherein FPJ and Lacson, two oppositional candidates who fought over the presidential slot were both “cheated” of their respective votes. He maintains that cheating against the opposition would be easy if they will field a lot of presidentiable candidates in the upcoming elections.
Well, we still have July or August to find out for certain if Erap will indeed run for presidency.
***Source: The Philippine Star News Page4 May 24, 2009***
Erap’s headache over the numerous presidential aspirants of the oppositon brings to mind my opinions and views on the party system of the Philippines. The election scene of the country is obviously party-oriented and not reform oriented. I am no greaat fan of the US but I must admit that I admire their approach to democracy and elections – that is in the sense that they only have 2 parties – Democratic and Republican, the major difference being in the reforms and beliefs of the said parties. And when a voter votes, he or she considers not the politician per se but the party he is in and the reform or advocacy of that party he is part of.
In the Philippines, there is no control as to the number of parties participating in the elections. Every election year, we hear of parties being made with some fading into oblivion in the next election year. This has happened so many times that we have ceased to really concern ourselves with the party and instead managed to look at the candidate himself thus making our election process personality-based instead of reform-based. If we closely looked at the nature of these political parties, we would see that most of them have basically similar reforms albeit worded differently.
So why then are there numerous presidentiables who would simply establish their own parties if their previous party had the unfortunate slip in decision to make them the presidential bet? Does it not make us think that they are now merely running for their own personal gain and not for the reforms that they claim to be their motivations for serving the public?
I know that our country is unique and I do not have any intention of it being patterned entirely upon US election scenarios, much as I admire those scenarios. It’s just that I hope our public servants would stop and think for a while and would really be sincere in what they want to accomplish for the country. I believe it would serve the voters more if we would be able to wisely decide who to vote for, not on the merits of the candidates personality, but on the merits of the reform his party advocates.
Another thing, it is easier to vote or select when one only has two options than when one is given a multitude of choices, right?